Social and demographic profile of Unified Health System users in a medium-sized city of southern Brazil
Aim: The use of health services is a complex behavior and results from a series of determinants that includes the users’ social and demographic characteristics. The current survey interprets the social and demographic profile of Unified Health System (UHS; SUS in Portuguese) users from Pelotas RS Brazil, which was conducted by interviews with 333 users from five Health Basic Units (HBUs). Methods: The social and demographic characterization was deployed by the variables sex, age, occupation, city/town or district of origin, number of family members, use of continuous medication, diseases and family income. Results: HBU users were mostly women (82.4%), within the 30-40-year-old age range (21.4%), housewives (36.3%) from Pelotas (96.2%) and from the district of Fragata (26.1%). Families of users comprise mostly two to four members (66.6%), with an income of one to two minimum wages (66.2%). Fifty-one percent of the interviewees do not use continuous medication, while hypertension was the most cited disease (51.8%). Conclusions: An understanding of HBU users’ characteristics and their associated social and demographic context may contribute towards a better reception and may confirm the UHS contribution towards universality and equality of public health care.
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